Chapter 0:

☠Day Zero - The Game☠

Game of Mass Destruction

Sia Bucks grinned at the robots on her laptop. "That's it! Crunch into that bastard's liver."

Her tiara stood out from her purple afro and black skin. There was only one boss on the Isle of Hakai, and she wanted everyone to know it was her.

Her kingdom was just an island below the arctic circle, had a huge support thanks to Sia's successful reality TV show. When the Isle of Hakai gained its status as a country, Sia was recognized as the first female absolute monarch, now she was one of the only three left. The other two were the Pope and the Islamic Emperor.

Alexa nestled behind Sia's laptop. Shaped as a pink heart, and with its fluffy exterior it was easy to mistake the little device with a cushion. Alexa could speak in a way that her granny used to, and it would make Sia's heart melt. "Shouldn't you be working, my dear?"

Sia closed the tab. "Yes, I should." Tapping away on another tab, her silver lipstick and black skin reflected on the screen. The build-up to Halloween was always the best time to promote her TV show. On the first night of November, twenty adults would be forced into a world of chaotic robot bashing and lust.

"So how are going to drag the contestants on the island this time?" Alexa asked.

"I told them all they won a holiday with a luxury coach tour around the British countryside and it's gorgeous cities and one mystery surprise location."

" how are you getting them from the UK to the Isle of Hakai?"

"They'll be taken to a ferry."

"What if they resist?"

"They won't resist. I'll gas them to sleep, dump them in the cell in my private jet and off we go."

"Isn't that a bit evil?" Alexa asked.

"Of course not," Sia said with a sparkling smile. "Some of the contestants in this year's line-up are deliciously evil."

"Mariangela's husband and the Dutch pimps?"


Sia cooled down from the breeze. The curtains slapped her side a few times. Two framed photographs nestled around Sia's laptop. On the left was a shattered wedding photograph. The one on the right was a vibrant picture of three women on stage, each of them wearing tank tops embroidered with their band's name:  Pussy*Pussy*Meow*Meow. 

"Those were the days," she whispered to the photos, raising her glass. "We must do another tour!" Head tilted back; she slammed her cocktail glass by the wedding picture. The dark fluid blurred the facial details of the man in the picture. "If only you hadn't slept with that slutty robot!"

"Who are you talking to Sia?" Alexa asked.

Sia peered over the heart-shaped device behind her laptop. "I'm talking to my ex-husband."

"But that's a photo of you and Professor Denki."

Sia squinted. "I know that."

It had been years since she had a ring on her finger. Comparing herself now to the photo, she contemplated on what had changed since her pop-star days; robots and electronic devices could socialise. Alexa was her only friend on the Isle of Hakai. One thing remained the same: her purple afro still had all its curls in place. 

In the five decades she had lived, she learned to love all colours except grey. The colour grey did not exist in Sia's world. Even though the sky outside was drained of all it's blue, it was still blue. She didn't want to be 52, so she decided to act like a teenager to keep her tired bones active.

She gasped. No way could it have been thirty years. She remembered it as if it were yesterday. American politicians told lies about robots stealing jobs. Her ex-husband had created medical robots to enhance the work of nurses and doctors. Employment had been on the rise, but society's stupidity made her rich. Sia took their fears and used it to nurture the show into the government-funded staple for Netflix subscribers. Sia baptised the show: Game of Mass Destruction.

Sia Bucks had an array of staff at her disposal. She could see the entire military base outside her window. One could mistake it for a football pitch. Leading the troops was Sergeant Dust who smoked so much he might as well be a chimney. He looked young for sixty with biceps bigger than Sia's waistline.

In the red t-shirt was Daz Muffin, a British weatherman whose coarse language prevented him from landing a job with the BBC. Sia could hear his brash ranting using every swearword possible. He went quiet when Sergeant Dust fired at the sky. A seagull croaked its last cry.

"Alexa! What's the Chinese zodiac sign this year?" 

"2062! It's the year of the horse!" 

"That means the director will be wearing a horse mask." 

"Yes," Alexa said, flashing neon pink.  "That is correct! They don't like showing their faces to you." 

"Because my face is so beautiful." Twirling her heart-shaped locket, she scrolled through profiles that her team had created. Even though the contestants had already been chosen, the nominations went forward to next year's show. A little bit of upcycling was good for the soul.

Taking a sip of her drink, she opened her locket: a picture of her daughter, Harumi on her first birthday. Her ex-husband had remarried, and Harumi was brought up to believe that his new wife was her biological mother. 

"Are you still thinking about her?" Alexa said, glowing blue. 

Sia collapsed her head by her keyboard. Her gold nails dived in her hair. "I'll never stop thinking about her. I'm the richest woman in the world, but I'd give it all up just to watch her grow up." Sighing, she knew it was too late. Returning to her files, she discovered the twenty contestants that had been selected. One of the names made her shiver.

"Sia!" Alexa flashed red. "You seem mortified." 

Shaking her shoulders, trying to brush off her fears, she laughed at Alexa. "I'm sorry. Fate has brought the band back together... minus one. But I'm sure the other one will be certain to come." 

Bobby Fishman & Todd Patrick
Best friends from the United Kingdom. Todd saved Bobby's life once.

Christian Strippers & Lavender Knickers
Childhood sweethearts from the United States of America. Their relationship is turbulent.

Catherine & Alfie Banjo
Mother and son from Australia. They live on welfare.

Sakura Kanagawa(神奈川サクラ)& Yuzuko Shikumi(仕組ユズコ)
A young couple from Japan who are big dreamers.

Mariangela & Pedro Primera
A married couple from Italy. Both famous and rich by their own right.

Mi Sook-Jo( ) & Mi Chang-Hoon ( 창훈)
Twins from South Korea. Chang-Hoon works in a rock music store and Sook-Jo works at Starbucks.

Hendrik Bonifacius & Pieter Larsfrom
Pimps and business rivals from The Netherlands. The two are often seen drinking together.

Rós Ólafsdóttir & Aron Jónsson
Friends from Iceland who work for the same tour company.

Hassin Farid & Nila Kamal
Neighbours from India. Both work as nurses in Mumbai.

Fan Wei Shang (伟商) & Yanyu Wei Shang (艳遇伟商)
Uncle and niece from China. They have no other family.

Mariangela was one of her old bandmates who'd composed the music. Sia wished that it was Fanny Bru (birth name Barry Garlow) who was a contestant instead of Mariangela's mafia-wannabe husband. Then again, Sia didn't miss Fanny Bru's rants about how she wrote all the lyrics: it was a joint investment. Still, it would be nice to see them.

Yuzuko's name also shook her up, even though it was Harumi who nominated her. Japan was still forcing schoolgirls to pop out babies. She had no idea why Harumi would nominate her, though something told Sia she was having daddy issues.

Closing her tab down, another popped up. A man in a lab coat surrounded by female assistants - they're probably robots too.

"Oh, Takeshi," Sia said, "you are a cheeky sod!"

"Hello. I am Professor Denki, president of the Robots Have Feelings Cooperation. Do not support Game of Mass Destruction!The show is lethal. Bad for society, the environment, and for businesses all over the world. Please do the right thing and sign every petition to stop the Game of Mass Destruction from airing, and bring its terrorist hostess, Sia Bucks to justice.Please understand robots are not meant to be feared. They should be embraced.Thank you."

The R.H.F Corp were their only rivals. Sia and Professor Denki had known each other for years. A part of Sia felt sad that their summer romance was not destined to last. Another part was coloured in excitement. The more Professor Denki sought to close her show, the greater her desire was to keep it open.

"Two can play at this game, sweetheart." On the edge of vengeance, Sia picked up Alexa and pushed one of the buttons. "ALEXA! WE'RE GOING LIVE ON INSTAGRAM!"


 "Hello to all the beautiful people. I hope you're ready for the best season ever! I'm excited about this season. It's going to be big money and big prizes. Just remember you have until midnight to get your nominations in for next year's contest.

The lucky twenty contestants chosen will be fighting for the chance of a lifetime. The only thing getting in their way are those evil flesh-eating robots. But we got you covered—everything will be provided by us. Tune in on the first of November 8 PM (GMT) for the show of your life. Be prepared to be amazed, shocked, and thrilled by pure uncensored and real action! 

Ciao for now!"

"Video uploaded."

"Lovely!" Sia picked up her glass then kissed Alexa. "I love you, Alexa."

"Thanks, I love me too."

Her ex-husband popped up on her screen again. Sia sighed. Clenching her fists, she resisted the urge to scream. Her body trembled at her ex's smirking face behind the bold text.



Thank you for watching this live broadcast. Before I begin my presentation, I would like to address that I am not being lazy by speaking Japanese. This live broadcast has is being translated in over thirty languages. I would like to give kudos to all the translators who spread the message about the beautiful work we create. Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Professor Denki, president of the Robots Have Feelings Cooperation. You may have received many messages from me and my employees regarding the upcoming series of The Game of Mass Destruction. This is not spam. Please take my message seriously.

Robots are not to be feared. They are talented, intelligent, and friendly. With technology advancing at a fast rate, we have found a way for technology and nature to work together. Through this, we can make our planet healthy again.

Game of Mass Destruction is profiting off society's fears of robots. Our Governments still fund it, despite promises that they would stop.The show is a disgrace. We've estimated that it costs the world at least ten billion dollars to run a year. It's all coming out of taxpayer's money—your money.

We must stop this heinous promotion of rape and violence. Thirty years is long enough. If you support Game of Mass Destruction, you are funding terrorism. Sia, if you are watching this... please return our mascot, Kiki. Do not drag an innocent robot into your kingdom of doom.

Please stop the Game of Mass Destruction. Too many people have lost their lives... Survivors have had both their lives and careers ruined.Thank you for watching this broadcast. I hope you will join us as we work together to bring a brighter and cleaner planet for both humans and robots.

Sia punched the table. "Well, that is that, Professor Denki."  She threw the wedding photo out of the window, it landed on a silver bus pulling over.  The Game of Mass Destruction was happening, whether he liked it or not!

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